The WNBA is starting to fill up with Gamecocks. After this season’s WNBA Draft saw 5 Gamecocks selected, 14 former Dawn Staley players had been taking in the draft during her South Carolina basketball tenure, and several more have signed free agent contracts. One of these free agents is former Carolina guard Doniyah Cliney.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Cliney was signing a contract with the Connecticut Sun, something Cliney confirmed on her personal Twitter account. She will be joining former South Carolina basketball teammates Ty Harris and Kiki Herbert-Harrigan on the Sun’s roster. Cliney’s contract is guaranteed through training camp like all rookie contracts, but the team will have the option to pick up her deal if she performs well.
Before signing with the Suns, Cliney spent several seasons playing overseas with stops in professional leagues in Spain, Sweden, Australia, Finland, and Portugal.
While at South Carolina, Cliney was a part-time starter who was a critical piece on Dawn Staley’s first national championship team. Her best season came as a junior in 2017-2018 when she averaged 7.8 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game, and a steal per game. Cliney and the Gamecocks made it to at least the Sweet Sixteen every season she was on campus and averaged a 30-6 record.
In her college days, Yeezy was known as a team-first player who was one of the team’s hardest workers on defense. Typically used as a guard, she had enough versatility as a tough six-footer to defend players of all sizes.
Cliney’s clearest avenue to securing a role with the Connecticut Sun will be through her wing defense. Guarding the perimeter against opponents’ outside shooting and the penetrating dribble-drive is one of the most important aspects of basketball at all levels, and Cliney can provide that if given the opportunity.